As I described in my previous post I experienced some improvement in my iaido performance.
Because this improvement is quite significant I want to give it a bit more attention here.
as mentioned one of the things I wanted to focus on was an improvement on the overal tenouchi. And it was!
yesterday before training I watched the video again which I made last Saturday to get a better feel on what I should focus on during the training. I decided that I should focus mostly on four of the kata: Uge nagashi, Kesa giri, Soetsuki and So giri. I trained them in backward order just to keep me on my toes. But something else occurred. What if that nice improvement of mine was just a glitch? What if it was just a little taste that I could not bring back?
well, I went to the training and luckily the improvement was still there. haha..
But after the training it did made me think about how I made this improvement happen. I wasn’t in the possibility to do much training due to the Christmas holiday. most of the training I did was in my head mentally (something that is of high value: mentally imagine and visualize the movement or whole kata for that matter. One can indeed train in one’s own head.) and some short try outs at home to get myself familiar with a variety of grips and motions. But what mostly helped me a lot was reading an article written by Andy Watson about tenouchi in 2010. He managed to explain the concept on tenouchi in a very accessible way (at least for me) that it perhaps lead to an actual physical understanding of the whole collection of motions.
Anyway..I feel really confident now about my cuts and surprisingly it also feels so much better in my right shoulder where in previous training I sometimes felt an annoying pain due to a wrong cutting. Also, what I noticed in the video, my body isn’t swaying back and forth anymore while making the kirioroshi.
I have to keep focusing on this to really make it my own. (happy..)
But, as mentioned I focused on four kata during yesterday’s training.
In So giri I wanted to create a better motion during the draw of the sword. There was a hick-up between the uge nagashi and the actual cut. I worked on it for some time and managed to make it more smooth and in one motion. The main thing was that I now focus more on a proper uge nagashi…the cut then comes more natural.
Soetsuki still remains a mystery. Although there is a proper understanding of the kata I keep having difficulties with the leading cut. I hope to get a good focus on this during the special Hyaku ren ji toku training coming Sunday with Sensei André Schiebroek.
Kesa giri the same. it is (for me) one of the more difficult kata because of the two cuts in one motion. Two things seem to be the hick-up:
01. to get a smooth saya banare without having the sword scraping the saya while drawing.
02. to get a smooth and most of all a relaxed second cut.
Also this is for coming sunday 🙂
Last but not least Uge nagashi. Here I tended to duck my head in while receiving the sword of the opponent. Still needs attention but it was an easy fix.
So far for today…looking forward for the Hyaku ren ji toku training coming Sunday..